1. "Why does a charity need to do what Government could be doing?"
The most progressive nations in the world today are those where people don't ask, "Why aren't the Federal or State agencies doing something about it" – but "What can we do to help make good schemes work even better?"
YouthHealth USA had its origins in our youth enthusiastically telling us, "We want to help!" There are a lot of good things happening in our communities for people in need which take a lot of energy and commitment. Federal and State agencies are giving a strong and very clear lead in terms of what we must achieve as a nation if we are to maintain and improve our standard of living. YouthHealth USA seeks to help bring together these streams of creativity, achievement, professionalism and integrity for the empowerment of all our young people. That's why we have adopted our by-lines:
- Our Youth – Our Future.
- Liberating Youth Potential.
- No Youth Left Behind.
We think this philosophy is good for everyone and good for our nation!
2. "I detect a sense of urgency in your approach – a serious determination to galvanise action! Is that a fair comment?"
Yes! We are moving rapidly towards a new global configuration of nations and economic realities. For some people this is disconcerting, if not frightening. Whether we like it or not, the "playing field" of international opportunity is not a level one; nor is it always gentle or fair. It is real; and we have to "shape up or ship out!"
This situation calls for strongly directed strategies to meet high expectations. These factors demand consistently applied effort by our young people so that they can meet the standards required for success and security, both personal, and as a country. These standards have been carefully researched and put into place by very abled researchers. We know what is needed, but it is going to take a concerted effort throughout our whole country to reach critically essential goals.
YouthHealth USA seeks to help our youth rise to the occasion and foot it with the best anywhere! Yes, we are on about helping to mobilize the whole nation to support our young people as they strive to reach their highest potential – for all our sakes. We can do it and we will, if we work together.
3. "I can see how health and achievement are closely linked, but it's a little harder to see how putting money into other things like youth development, arts, culture, sport and recreation will benefit individuals in their careers, and put our nation ahead."
Quite apart from the fact that these " other things" provide stepping stones to many excellent career opportunities, they are absolutely essential elements if we are going to achieve our vision of healthy young people reaching their full potential, for themselves and for our country. The lessons of history as well as contemporary situations demonstrate that without these "other things" there is no long term growth or sustained performance. Without them we will have no vision and our youth will have little to which they can aspire. Admittedly, the best of plans can lose their focus and drive if core goals become blurred in a sea of detail. However YouthHealth USA maintains a clear focus through its management systems and constant review of policies, priorities, and performance. In this way we can constantly target resources in such a way as to benefit individuals in their careers, as well as put our nation ahead. In other words, we are needs driven, focusing simultaneously on the needs and strengths of our young people as well as those of our nation.
4. "It seems very 'politically correct' to at least claim to have young people actively involved at different levels of the organization. Is this a gimmick or does it really make a difference?"
Some might be inclined to answer this from a theoretical base, which is a perfectly reasonable approach. Our reply is based on the clear evidence, which abounds everywhere that the most successful projects for young people are those, which involve youth in a wide range of contributory roles, including aspects of management in appropriate contexts. A close look at what really works best in our society for young people, will demonstrate what we mean.
5. "These days there seems to be a huge amount of fragmentation of groups and services. Why have you set up another corporation?"
YouthHealth USA came into being to answer a need, or more correctly, a number of needs. In brief we raise and manage a pool of funds to help our youth develop their abilities and maximize their participation in all aspects of life in our society. YouthHealth USA is not just a distribution facility. We consider that pastoral support and follow-up are also essential to nurture young people through their challenges to reach the desired outcomes.
Whenever possible, funding is channeled through efficient organizations already operating and serving their local communities. We do, however, strongly emphasize the need for careful targeting of resources and monitoring of results.
We therefore, neither compete with, nor jeopardize the good work of others at a local level. On the contrary wherever possible, we try and harmonize our common goals for the common good.
6. "Could the focus on such a wide age range cause resources to be spread too thinly and weaken the impact?"
We do not attempt to cover constantly every intention embodied in all objectives across all age levels. Obviously that would spread resources too thinly. Essentially it is good management which prevents a shotgun approach to our work.
In practice, there needs to be an on-going appraisal of the allocation of resources and audit of results. In this way, targets and priorities can be put in place so that money and effort are not "thrown to the wind."